GoCardless is the UK's leading direct debit provider. In the US, they use the ACH payments network. With no monthly fees and no long-term contracts, could it be right for your business?
GoCardless At A Glance
- Offers bank-to-bank transfer services (uses ACH network in the US)
- No monthly fee for basic account
- No long-term contracts or early termination fees
- Lower processing rates than credit cards
- No monthly fee for basic account
- Month-to-month billing with no early termination fee
- Extensive support for international payments
- No credit card processing services (except through third-party providers)
- Long funding times with no instant payment options
Table of Contents
What Is GoCardless?
GoCardless is a payment processing service that uses bank-to-bank transfers to facilitate payments between businesses and individuals while avoiding the processing fees required for traditional credit or debit card payments. Headquartered in London, GoCardless is available in over 30 countries around the world. Its services are used by over 75,000 businesses, including DocuSign, TripAdvisor, Survey Monkey, and many more.
In the United States, GoCardless uses the Automated Clearing House (ACH) payment network exclusively to process payments between users. As the name implies, GoCardless does not process credit or debit card payments. However, it’s fairly easy to use the company’s services in conjunction with your existing credit card processor.
With no monthly fees (for a basic account) and no long-term contracts, GoCardless is a great choice for any business that needs to send or receive ACH payments on a regular basis.
The company’s processing rates for ACH transactions are in line with industry averages, with the added bonus of broad support for international transactions. We recommend GoCardless for eCommerce-only businesses, B2B transactions, freelancers, and independent contractors.
Overall, GoCardless receives an impressive score of 4.5 out of 5 stars.
Products & Services
GoCardless offers a fairly sophisticated payments platform for online ACH payments. Here’s an overview of the primary features that come with a GoCardless account:
GoCardless Processing Rates & Fees
GoCardless offers three tiers of service, ranging from a free Standard Plan to a more advanced (and pricier) Pro Plan. Customized plans are also available for high-volume businesses or those with unique needs. Here’s a brief summary of what each plan will cost you:
|Business Name on Customer’s Statement
|Custom Checkout Experience & Payer Notifications
|ACH Transaction Fee (Domestic)
|0.5% + $0.05 (capped at $5.00)
|0.75% + $0.05 (capped at $6.25)
|0.90% + $0.05 (capped at $7.00)
|International Transaction Fee
|1.5% + $0.05
|1.75% + $0.05
|1.90% + $0.05
|Transaction Failure Fee
Sales & Advertising Transparency
As an international fintech company, GoCardless primarily markets its services through its website. It also maintains an in-house sales force to assist customers with the sign-up process, but relies mostly on online sign-ups to set up accounts. Unless you need customized pricing or specialized services, it’s entirely possible to sign up for a GoCardless account without talking to the company’s sales staff at all. However, it’s always a good idea to ask for clarification if you have any questions about your account or the services it includes.
We haven’t seen any pattern of complaints regarding the company’s sales practices, and GoCardless offers far more information on its website than a typical merchant services provider. Note, however, that it has recently revamped its pricing structure, and the information provided can be a bit confusing due to the assortment of standard and optional features. We encourage you to contact the GoCardless sales team via telephone or email if you have any questions.
Contract Length & Early Termination Fee
All accounts offered by GoCardless come with month-to-month billing, and there are no long-term contracts or early termination fees. The only time constraint we were able to locate was a 30-day notice requirement if you decide to downgrade your current GoCardless account to a lower tier. We assume that this 30-day notice requirement will also apply if you decide to close your account for any reason.
While you won’t have to worry about long-term contracts, automatic renewal clauses, or early termination fees with GoCardless, you might encounter these issues if you’re using the company’s ACH processing services in conjunction with a traditional merchant services provider for credit and debit card processing. Although month-to-month billing is rapidly becoming the industry standard in the payments industry, some credit card processors will still require a standard, three-year contract if you accept a “free” credit card terminal with your account.
Customer Service & Technical Support
|Dedicated Support Representative
|Only with custom pricing
|Knowledge Base or Help Center
|Videos & Tutorials
Like many other tech-focused payments platforms, GoCardless relies primarily on an email-based system for customer support. However, telephone support is also available to US-based users through the company’s San Francisco office. Support hours are 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM Pacific Time, Monday through Friday. A dedicated support representative is also available for customers on one of the company’s customized pricing plans.
GoCardless offers a very extensive knowledgebase on its website that should allow you to solve most basic technical problems on your own. API documentation is also available for developers. You’ll also find an extensive collection of educational videos on the GoCardless YouTube channel.
User feedback on the quality of the company’s customer support is variable, with some customers praising GoCardless for the high caliber of its support, and others who were less than satisfied with their experience. In general, it appears that customers with technical problems are more satisfied with the support they received, while those who’ve experienced an account freeze or termination were often frustrated that the support representatives were unable to resolve their problem.
GoCardless Reviews & Complaints
Final Verdict On GoCardless
For US-based merchants, ACH processing offers a less expensive alternative to credit cards or wire transfers. Although funding times can be slow in comparison to other payment methods, it offers convenience and security that your customers will appreciate.
Overall, GoCardless rates as one of the best ACH processing companies that we’ve seen to date. The company’s pay-as-you-go pricing model makes it ideal for very small businesses that only need to accept an occasional ACH payment. At the same time, its full array of features and customization options make it a great choice for much larger enterprises as well. We’re particularly impressed with the company’s low per-transaction fees and its flexible pricing structure. We highly recommend GoCardless to any business that wants to be able to accept ACH payments, whether as a stand-alone service or in conjunction with a traditional credit card processor. GoCardless is particularly well-suited to freelancers, independent contractors, and any business that accepts a lot of B2B payments.
With an overall score of 4.5 out of 5 stars, GoCardless is an excellent addition to your overall payments acceptance strategy.
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